Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have been working on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora for a good few years now, and it's finally out this week! Ahead of launch on December 7th, we've rounded up some early reviews of this new open world Avatar title so you can get a taste at what the team has crafted here.
It's worth noting that we didn't get access to the console version until very late, so our review of the Xbox release isn't ready to go just yet. Access to the PC version was granted earlier, so the impressions below are based on the PC edition of the game. If you do want to see some early Xbox footage, we have a chunk of Xbox Series S gameplay up above.
"If you walked away from Avatar wishing a world like Pandora actually existed out there, here you go. This is that world. Seeing Pandora is one thing, but being able to scale its massive treetops, soar high above its floating mountains on an Ikran, and traverse its wide open plains on the back of a Direhorse is really something special. This is the best version of Avatar yet."
"Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is an exceptional realization of this franchise. Its spirit feels pitch-perfect, walking completely in step with James Cameron's films. It understands Avatar and its appeal and lets it be led by that rather than typical FPS and Ubisoft tropes. Its highs soar, while also taking on some harrowing themes too. It may not work for everyone, but it’s a delight for any Avatar enjoyer and one of the best games based on a film IP ever made."
"Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a serviceable open world game elevated by a stunning presentation. While the visuals will utterly wow you, it's a shame it doesn't introduce more original ideas."
"Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora features a stunning alien world to explore with a refreshingly uncluttered approach to navigation, countless enemy bases to destroy and Na’vi clan sidequests to complete, and no shortage of exotic flora and fauna to harvest and hunt. However, its combat is pretty one-dimensional, its mission design is a bit on the repetitive side, and its environment is generally lacking in any major surprises beyond visual splendor, meaning that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a solid shooting adventure that’s more inside the box than truly out of this world."
"There is an occasional lack of clarity with things like guidance not always being crystal – wooly tracking missions being a prime example. However, the vibrancy of the world and the pure alienness of almost everything you encounter make Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora an enjoyable place simply to exist in, with all its otherworldly environments and creatures adding freshness the mechanics lack."
"Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gives you the strength and stamina of the Na’vi, but not the consistency and depth of their homeworld. Unless you’re an avid fan who wants every morsel of storytelling, Ubisoft's latest open world doesn’t always justify the trip."
"There are lots of design choices I didn’t mesh with in Frontiers of Pandora. I love the world, but barriers blocked me from fully immersing myself in it, and it’s littered with activities and outposts plucked straight out of the 2010s and planted in Pandora’s soil."
"This one’s for diehard fans of Avatar or Far Cry, and even then might be a tough sell. Like the Avatar films, this is textbook average entertainment; it won’t disappoint, but it certainly won’t excite. If you’ve got a pile of shame like I do, there’s certainly better ways to spend your time."
At the time of writing, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is sitting at a score of 74 on Metacritic and has an Open Critic rating of 72. This is sounding like your typical Ubisoft outing then - good open world fun but nothing earth-shattering!
We're still working away on our Xbox Series X review for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora here at PX HQ - expect it to land on the site in the coming days.